Driver gets 7 years in deadly Old Town DUII crash

Driver gets 7 years in deadly Old Town DUII crash

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by KGW staff

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kgw.com

Posted on September 3, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 4 at 7:43 AM

PORTLAND -- The man who crashed into a pedestrian and killed her while he was driving drunk in downtown Portland was sentenced Tuesday.

Brent Warstler, 42, of Cornelius, was sentenced to more than seven years behind bars for multiple charges including manslaughter and DUII.  On Jan. 20, he ran a red light, crashed into a cab and then slid into a group of people in Old Town.

His pickup truck struck Becky Bray, 20, of Gresham and three other people as they walked together on the sidewalk.  They were celebrating the Bray's best friend's 21st birthday.

Bray died at the scene.  Her friend Brandi Butner suffered severe injuries, but survived.  Three passengers in Warstler's truck were also hurt.

Background: Truck slams into pedestrians in Old Town

In court Tuesday, Warstler's family and friends hugged him, many with tears in their eyes.  His attorney said he accepts full responsibility for the tragedy and feels a lot of pain over what happened.

Bray's mother and sister spoke in court, urging the judge to choose a tough and reasonable sentence.

"She was a ray of sunshine that was felt by everyone who knew her. She will be profoundly missed," Bray's mother, Sharon said.  "I think about how senseless this accident is. It could have been totally avoided."

Judge Thomas Ryan told Butner's and Bray's families that his heart goes out to them.

He also addressed Warstler: "This was a tragedy but was completely avoidable,” Ryan said.  “This was a horrific crime, but it was no accident and it deserves to be punished appropriately.”

Warstler teared up during the proceedings but did not speak.

He previously pleaded no contest to 19 charges.  He had been out on bail, but was required to wear an ankle bracelet and attend regular Alcohol Anonymous meetings.  His driver’s license was also permanently revoked.

More: Deadly Old Town DUII crash suspect out of jail

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